Swimming is a great way to stay healthy and fit. As a swimmer, it is essential to learn the basic swimming styles. This ensures that you make use of different muscles in your body, and also prevents fatigue. For people interested in competitive swimming, learning different swimming styles opens up more platforms for you to compete in.
Five Basic Swimming Styles
1. Front Crawl – Many competitive swimmers prefer this stroke as it is the speediest of all styles. The body is kept at water level while the face is submerged underwater facing the bottom. The strokes involve moving one hand forward above the water and the other hand pushing back. The legs are used for kicking up and down in the water, moving alternately in coordination with the arms.
2. Breast stroke – This swimming style makes use of the frog style kick. The concept is quite simple: all you have to do is bend your knees, and then kick out your legs from underneath the water. The movement on your arm should begin with a sweep from your breast, followed by a sweep back to the breast. For easier movement in the water, you should keep your body straight. The backstroke allows better visibility because the head remains above water. It is also ideal because the arms and legs move in a synchronized manner making it an easy style to learn.
3. Back stroke – As the name suggests, it is done using the back. The swimmer floats on water while the rest of the body remains in the water. You must ensure that your body remains in a horizontal position. Your body is propelled forward by kicking your legs. The backstroke is one of the most efficient swimming styles because breathing problems are eliminated. Additionally, it gives a great back workout and eases back problems.
4. Butterfly stroke – This swimming technique is the most difficult; however, it is also quite interesting for swimmers who master the art. Movements begin with the arms and head, then travels down to the body. The resultant effect is a wavelike circular ballistic motion. One of the greatest advantage of this style is that it is very fast and a lot of fun. The butterfly stroke can be tiring and needs a lot of agility.
5. Freestyle stroke – This stroke is similar to the backstroke; the only difference is that it is done when the stomach is in a flat position. In this style, the arms and the hips alternate in motion. The catch and pull back technique is used to aid in movement. The freestyle stroke is the fastest. Distance swimmers prefer this style because they are able to cover longer distances within a short span of time using minimal energy.
Safety Tips for Swimming
Reports issued by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention ranks drowning as one of the leading causes of accidental deaths. However, these deaths can be prevented if swimmers follow basic safety tips. For starters, unless you are a professional you should avoid diving head first. This is a major cause of injury. It is also not advised to swim under the influence of drugs and alcohol. This is because toxic substances not only impair your vision but also coordination. Swimming should always be done with a trained life guard nearby. For those who are not very good in swimming, a life or snorkel vest, or floaters may be used.
The five basic swimming styles should be done properly to avoid muscle injuries and pains while in the water. Swimming becomes more fun and exciting when you do these styles properly.